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It's time to name names

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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Every year I visit a particular city, and each time I stay in the same hotel. There are nicer facilities in the town. In fact, there's one directly across the street. Still, I choose this one place because they know me and make me feel welcomed.

The second year I came to visit, I no sooner walked into the lobby to register, when the clerk looked up from the registration desk, smiled, called me by name, and said "Welcome back!" as though I had been away for no more than a day.

Common courtesy? Yes, it was that. Good business practice? Evidently. It is one of the reasons I return to this hotel each year. But there's even more to having and nurturing this kind of friendly familiarity with others. There's a spiritual dimension.

I began to recognize this fact during a rough period in my life. I had become increasingly disturbed at the thought that God didn't know me. It was even more upsetting when I recalled the experience of Samuel in the Bible. Here was a young boy who, three times, heard the Lord call his name (see I Sam., Chap. 3). So how come I was praying to God for help as earnestly as ever, and yet He didn't call me by name? Could it be that my needs were not all that important to Him, or even worse, that I was a stranger?

One afternoon, when I was still questioning why God didn't call my name, this thought came as an answer: "There's no need to call someone's name when you already have their attention." Much to my delight, I realized that not only had God, divine Mind, answered my question, but by doing so, God had shown me that indeed He knew me intimately. Since He already had my attention, He had spoken to me directly, giving me just what I needed. I wasn't a stranger to Him at all.

So, if God knows and relates to His children that well, even better than any good human father can, then shouldn't His children know and relate to one another a lot better than many of us do? Doesn't our actual relationship as brothers and sisters in God's family make it normal and natural to love and appreciate one another's true nature as directly as we can?


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